Jul 192013
 

La-grande-Belleza

Launching the 2013 Lavazza Italian Film Festival at Opening Night Galas nationally will be The Great Beauty (La grande bellezza) from writer/director Paolo Sorrentino (This Must Be The Place, Il Divo), which gained much praise at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival and tells the story of a celebrated, yet jaded journalist whose glittering, but empty lifestyle is instilled with fresh hope through the memories of a past love and the promise of one to come.

This Must be The Place is one of my personal favourites from the last few years and thus I am very excited for The Great Beauty.

Other highlights already announced include, Honey (Miele) (directed by Valeria Golino), officially selected for Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2013; Salvo (Written/Directed by: Fabio Grassadonia & Antoni, Piazza), winner of Critics’ Week Grand Prix at the 2013 Cannes International Film Festival; and I Travel Alone (Viaggio sola), a comedy/drama which was nominated in 5 David di Donatello (Italian Academy Awards) categories, with Margherita Buy winning for Best Actress.
 
The 2013 Lavazza Italian Film Festival will take place nationally at Palace Cinemas on the following dates:

VIC: 2 Oct to 27 Oct Palace Cinema Como, Kino Cinemas, Palace Westgarth, Palace Balwyn & Palace Brighton Bay
QLD: 3 Oct – 22 Oct Palace Barracks & Palace Centro
ACT: 8 Oct – 23 Oct Palace Electric
NSW: 9 Oct – 3 Nov Palace Verona, Chauvel Cinema
WA: 10 Oct – 23 Oct Paradiso, Luna on SX
Byron: 11 Oct – 16 Oct Palace Byron Bay
SA: 22 Oct – 10 Nov Palace Nova Eastend
 

For updates, visit: http://www.italianfilmfestival.com.au/
The full programme will be launched at a later date.

Jul 172013
 

It’s 1971 and you’ve recently bought a house for you and your family. However, it should be mentioned; there’s a grotesque stench, the clocks always stop at 3:07 every morning and most nights you feel someone touching your leg, leaving bruises. Do you A) Redecorate and fix the plumbing B) Move out or C) Call a clairvoyant couple? Find out in my review of The Conjuring after the jump.

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Jul 162013
 

pacificrim22

The greatest error made by the creators of Pacific Rim is to allow the spoken word into play. The pivot point of the film is almost without dialogue; it communicates the absolute terror and hysterical desolation that elevates Pacific Rim – giving it a greater weight than most ‘oh, the world is in danger’ films – and with which we are mightily overburdened at the moment. The question ‘what is with all these apocalypse/super-hero films’ has an obvious answer: fear on a level we may never have experience before as a species. Pacific Rim has been attacked as a clichéd work, its plot points rickety with age and echoing a hundred different films. This is partly true, but missing the point. All great myths build on the foundations of older myths. Stories become mythic when the resonance hits that sweet spot and rings through our collective unconscious for generations. Realism and originality are great, but it’s not a positive/negative dichotomy – the opposite is not automatically to be derided and negated. There is an oddly unmentioned film in its DNA, one that allows an intriguing, altered perspective. This article is brief, I’m just tossing ideas around, but these thoughts are what has kept me thinking about the film when the spectacle no longer persists in my vision.

[Warning: potential spoilers ahead]

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Jul 162013
 


 
The first trailer for director Steve McQueen’s, 12 Years A Slave which is currently set for a late 2013 release, is here.

The film is a historical drama, based on the autobiography Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. Chiwetel Ejiofor (End Game, American Gangster) plays Solomon, with Michael Fassbender planning the cruel plantation owner, Edwin Epps. The film also stars Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Scoot McNairy, Quvenzhané Wallis and more! (seriously, check out the full cast listing here).

I can’t help but get a Shame vibe from the score. It doesn’t look as tightly photographed as McQueen’s previous films (with a large amount of the film set outside, it would be difficult), but it’s really hard to tell from the small amount of footage in the trailer. Personally, I am very much looking forward to it.

With a cast like that and a director as talented is McQueen, this is a film that is sure to gain a lot of attention closer to release.

Thoughts?

Jul 152013
 

before midnight

We join Jesse and Céline in Greece, some nine years since we last saw them in Paris. What has happened since? Did they end up together, or did they go their separate ways?

Please consider everything after the jump a spoiler for this film. If you want to go into Before Midnight knowing nothing about why the pair are in Greece, then read no further. Please also note that the endings of both Before Sunrise and Before Sunset will also be discussed in this review. If you haven’t seen either of those films, please do not read ahead and watch them asap – you’ll be doing yourself a great service.

My review of Before Midnight is after the jump.

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Jul 122013
 

to the wonder film

Oleg Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams star as wandering entities at the mercy of Terrence Malick in his latest effort, To The Wonder. A visceral odyssey of love, faith and human definition. Does the result meet the incredible ambition and intention? Or is it merely a collage of leaves that borders on self parody? Find out after the jump.

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Jul 112013
 


 
Fresh from its strange 90’s garage rock band poster début a few days ago, Spike Lee’s remake of Oldboy has its first trailer, and its [NSFW] red band brutality is essential and welcome. Starring Josh Brolin in the title role this time around, the remake has been dreaded by many the minute it was announced, and it’s understandable why. The Park Chan-wook 2003 revenge manifesto is pretty damn immaculate and original. However, there are at least a handful of us who heard Spike Lee was helming the remake, and became excited rather than concerned.

Although this trailer may look a little familiar here and there, there’s still an air of innovation that Lee brings to every film he makes. Don’t let the Hollywood trailer cut fool you, just take note of some of those shots and close-ups. I believe that Lee won’t let us down and this trailer, although not mind-blowing, is a forewarning of the insanity and originality that Spike Lee’s Oldboy is going to bring us in October.

One last thing, did you notice that you don’t ever see a single frame revealing the villain? I’ll take it as a sign!
 
By Chris Elena